Educator training on teaching suicide awareness and prevention

NAMI Maine, the Maine Suicide Prevention Program’s training contractor, is offering a Combination Lifelines and Middle School Lessons training session on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the University of New England in Portland at 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This full-day training is available at no cost and is designed for health educators and others who are qualified to implement suicide prevention lessons in the classroom as part of a comprehensive school health education curriculum.

Maine has been a leader in the country in youth suicide prevention efforts for more than two decades including assisting in the development of a research-based middle and high school program that includes four classroom lessons.  The Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program collaborated with national experts in youth suicide prevention to create Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program, a program designed for implementation between grades 8 to 10. State experts then developed four middle school lessons with support from the field for grades 6 to 8.

This year’s training will combine both Lifelines and Middle School Suicide Prevention Lessons. The morning session will combine the participants being trained on either set of lessons, followed by a breakout into two separate tracks in the afternoon. This allows for educators from one district to attend together but have access to either the high school or middle school focused curricula as needed.

Over the past two years, schools have worked diligently to come into compliance with Maine’s new law requiring suicide awareness and prevention training for school personnel. School personnel have attended Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper sessions and many districts have supported Gatekeeper-trained staff to complete a Training of Trainers program that prepares them to provide required suicide awareness and prevention sessions to all school staff. Now that most schools have completed the required training, and many are in the process of developing and implementing the recommended protocols, it is a good next step for schools to take advantage of training on student suicide prevention curriculum lessons.

Gatekeeper training is a prerequisite to this program.

For more information or to register, click here. For information on other suicide prevention trainings available through NAMI Maine, visit the NAMI Maine Training Calendar or contact Suicide Prevention Training Program Coordinator Matthew Bray or call 622-5767 Ext. 2318.

Trainings are also posted on the Maine DOE Professional Development Calendar at

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